As someone who grew up in a small town in Iowa a highlight of my summer was driving up with my grandma to the Iowa State Fair. Many Iowans have a very similar love for the Iowa State fair. Sadly this year we will not be taking a trip to the fair. A difficult decision was made, and it was to cancel the Iowa State Fair for 2020.

In a press release Gary Slater stated,

Dear Fair Friends,

The Iowa State Fair Board today made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Iowa State Fair due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The decision was complex and considered a wide array of factors. The Iowa State Fair’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of Fairgoers, staff, volunteers, exhibitors and entertainers. Amid the pandemic, we couldn’t, in good conscience, put on the Fair when we knew access to emergency safety services at the Fair could be limited, public transportation to and from the Fair would not be possible, the constant sanitization of a seemingly infinite amount of high touch surfaces lacked feasibility and social distancing in lines to get your favorite Fair food or walking the Grand Concourse would be difficult.

While we can’t predict what the COVID-19 pandemic will look like in August, we can make educated decisions based on information and guidance available today from health. Waiting any longer to make a decision would have been more potentially damaging to our great Fair partners and our planning.

Not getting together this August at the Iowa State Fair will be disappointing. Our staff, volunteers, entertainers, vendors and sponsors love to come together to put on 11 fantastic days each summer. We know that the Fair isn’t just an event; it’s a way of life for many, including our friends in agriculture and our young exhibitors.

Thank you for your patience in allowing the Iowa State Fair Board, staff and partners the time we needed to thoroughly review our options for the 2020 Iowa State Fair.

And thank you for your unwavering support. We can’t wait to get together again in 2021.

“Fairwell” for now and stay healthy.


Gary Slater- CEO and Fair Manager

As of the time of writing this, the Mississippi Valley Fair is still on for August 4th-August 9th.

Us Iowans now look to 2021 for an amazing year for fairs! More information can be found here about the Iowa State Fair.

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